Mar 082016

Skeletonwitch 2016


Over the last hour I spied four new items of interest that I thought I’d toss up here instead of waiting to include them in tomorrow’s planned round-up, which is already pretty over-stuffed as it is.  The first three include new songs.


I think we can all agree that as the vocalist of Skeletonwitch, Chance Garnette was going to be a tough guy to replace following his ejection from the band in late 2014. Last month the band announced that Adam Clemans of Wolvhammer was the man they chose to try to fill those shoes. And now we have a chance to find out how well he is doing that.


Skeletonwitch-Well of Despair


Today Skeletonwitch debuted a video for a new single named “Well of Despair“, which is available for download at Bandcamp for $1 (there’s a limited edition shirt up there, too). The song will appear on a new EP due out later this year.

My vote is hell yes, Adam Clemans does a fine job spitting venom for Skeletonwitch, and the new song is a jet-fueled ass-kicker.








Hot on the heels of their recent EP, Termination Redux, those sonic butchers in Aborted will be releasing their ninth album, Retrogore, on April 22 via Century Media. It features delectable cover art by Christopher Lovell.

Today Metal Sucks premiered the album’s title track. We also have a statement from Sven de Caluwe about the new song and album:

“Here it is ghouls and maniacs! The first, opening track and title track to our fine new little piece of auricular mayhem called RETROGORE. A profound little diddy that somewhat recalls the finesse and tactfulness of Monty Python’s ‘The meaning of life’ or as we shall call it our own ‘The meaning of Death(metal)’.

“You see, folks, there are blast beats, there are ridiculously fast kicks all over the place, really, really, reaallly dark melodies to make you churn and some shredding for those who like that thing called musicianship. To top it off we have myself puking all over it in a fashion that would make Cookie monster cringe and Kim Kardashian shake that big ole butt of hers.

“In other words, it’s Aborted, it’s uncensored gooey, gory fun for the whole family! Enter the nostalgic world of RETROGORE and don’t be a chump, get a pre-order and be part of something that will bring you joy and happiness, for at least one hour! Guaranteed!”

I’m digging the new song. It is, of course, an explosive torrent of sonic mayhem, but lodged within the eye of this tornado is a slow, phantasmagorical, atmospheric section with a gliding melody and a scintillating solo. Quite cool.

Retrogore is available for pre-order HERE and HERE.










The next piece of news is the announcement that Norway’s Kvelertak will release a new album titled Nattesferd on May 13 via Roadrunner Records, and today NPR premiered a song from the album named “1985“, which you can hear below. But first, words from Erlend Hjelvik:

““We are finally getting ready to release our third album NATTESFERD on the world and however cliché it may sound, I’m not afraid to say that this is our best one yet! An exquisite smorgasbord of riffs infused with everything between the best of classic rock and heavy metal. I’m certain it will blow the minds of both old and new fans. Enjoy!”

Yes, I know that the band comments in these announcements don’t shed a lot of light on the music. So why am I including them throughout this post? Fuck if I know. Let’s just focus on the music, shall we? Because the music is damned good.

This baby really rocks, and the band prove once again that they’ve got a knack for writing monster melodic hooks that will tear your mouth if you try to get them out. And lo and behold, Erlend Hjelvik wasn’t just mouthing an empty cliche — this really is an awesome combination of classic rock and heavy metal.







Dark Funeral-Where Shadows Forever Reign


And now here’s a final new announcement for this post, which I thought was worth some space despite the fact that we don’t yet have new music to share: Century Media will release a new Dark Funeral album on June 3, bearing the title Where Shadows Forever Reign. And yes, we have a comment from Lord Ahriman to accompany the announcement, which reads in part as follows:

“Wow, did 6 years pass already? Time surely flies fast! But you know what, we’re back! DARK FUNERAL is back! And in true DARK FUNERAL spirit, like so many times in the past, we continue to push all boundaries musically & bring Black Metal into a new, fresh & dark dimension.

“This is by far our most professional, technical, dynamic & epic album thus far. And compared to previous albums, each new song offers a unique spirit & identity that is more profound than ever. And whether you like extreme Black Metal or not, I’m sure every fan of Metal will find songs on this album that they can enjoy to its fullest!”

I’m already happy with the distinctive cover art by Necrolord. We shall see about the music….


  1. Clemens sounds like a great fit 🙂

  2. That Skeletonwitch track is a goddamn barnburner. Loving Clemans’s vocals, even though they sound really weird to me here, since I’m so used to the pairing of Chance’s vocals over Skeletonwitch riffs. Something I’ll have to get used to I suppose. Also, that Kvelertak track is a perfect soundtrack for the emergence of an early spring here in the urban plains of Chicago.

  3. “Jet-fueled ass-kicker” Spot on! Great track!

  4. Let me preface this with the following: I love Skeletonwitch. They’re one of my favorite bands, they’re constantly on my playlist, and I’ve seen them live many times. Clemens is undoubtedly a strong vocalist. His vocals would be at home in any number of bands. That’s the issue for me however. Despite the quality, they feel a bit stock. Now I’m not saying that he should try to emulate Chance’s vocals exactly. Every vocalist has their own style but it would be great to hear more of the vocal qualities that I’ve come to associate with Skeletonwitch. Some of the deeper growls, some of the blackened screams, etc. It was that range of vocals that made Chance stand out as a vocalist and gave the band some of their distinct sound. Instrumentally they sound amazing, it’s the Skeletonwitch that always shreds my face off. So it’s certainly too early to pass any real judgement. Clemens sounds great but I’m just hoping for a bit more variance. I’ve heard what he’s capable of through Wolvhammer and I think he’s yet to fully find his footing with Skeletonwitch. I’m really amped to see what comes next.

    • I also think Clemans’ work with Wolvhammer proves how good he is, and why I thought he was going to be a really excellent choice when I first heard that he would be the new Skeletonwitch vocalist. But I also think Garnette was such an integral part of the band’s sound, and so good at what he did, that expecting someone else to step in and replicate what he did was probably too much to expect. I really want to hear the rest of the EP to get a sense of what Clemans’ is going to be capable of.

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